(a) The department and the Health and Welfare Data Center shall design, implement, and maintain a statewide fingerprint imaging system for use in connection with the determination of eligibility for benefits under the California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids Act (CalWORKs) program under Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 11200) of Part 3 excluding Aid to Families with Dependent Children-Foster Care (AFDC-FC).
(b) (1)Every applicant for, or recipient of, aid under Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 11200) of Part 3, excluding the AFDC-FC program, other than dependent children or persons who are physically unable to be fingerprint imaged, shall, as
a condition of eligibility for assistance, be required to be fingerprint imaged.
(2) A person subject to paragraph (1) shall not be eligible for the CalWORKs program until fingerprint images are provided, except as provided in subdivision (e). Ineligibility may extend to an entire case of a person who refuses to provide fingerprint images.
(c) The department may adopt emergency regulations to implement this section specifying the statewide fingerprint imaging requirements and exemptions to the requirements in accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act (Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 11340) of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code). The initial adoption of any emergency regulations implementing this section, as added during the 1996 portion of the 199596 Regular Session, shall be deemed to be an emergency and necessary for the immediate preservation of
the public peace, health and safety, or general welfare. Emergency regulations adopted pursuant to this subdivision shall remain in effect for no more than 180 days.
(d) Persons required to be fingerprint imaged pursuant to this section shall be informed that fingerprint images obtained pursuant to this section shall be used only for the purpose of verifying eligibility and preventing multiple enrollments in the CalWORKs program. The department, county welfare agencies, and all others shall not use or disclose the data collected and maintained for any purpose other than the prevention or prosecution of fraud. Fingerprint imaging information obtained pursuant to this section shall be confidential under Section 10850.
(e) (1)Except as provided in paragraph (2), the fingerprint imaging required under this chapter shall be scheduled only during the application
appointment or other regularly scheduled appointments. No other special appointment shall be required. No otherwise eligible individual shall be ineligible to receive benefits under this chapter due to a technical problem occurring in the fingerprint imaging system or as long as the person consents to and is available for fingerprint imaging at a mutually agreed-upon time, not later than 60 days from the initial attempt to complete fingerprint imaging.
(2) During the first nine months following implementation, recipients may be scheduled for separate appointments to complete the fingerprint imaging required by this section. Notice shall be mailed first class by the department to recipients at least 10 days prior to the appointment, and shall include procedures for the recipient to reschedule the scheduled appointment within 30 days.
(f) If the fingerprint image of an applicant or
recipient of aid to which this section applies matches another fingerprint image on file, the county shall notify the applicant or recipient. In the event that a match is appealed, the fingerprint image match shall be verified by a trained individual and any matching case files reviewed prior to the denial of benefits. Upon confirmation that the applicant or recipient is receiving or attempting to receive multiple CalWORKs program checks, a county fraud investigator shall be notified.